So I had this table last evening of, wait for it, fish experts.
Can you imagine?
Brilliant! They have everything these days. What a time to be alive! When I was a lad Captain Birdseye was the only fish expert I knew of.
Imagine running into your parents bedroom and jumping on the bed with a dead goldfish in yer childish and no doubt sticky hand and shouting loudly that you're gonna become an expert in fishies and find out why Jaws the goldfish, that was fed three times a day, died. Yer Da would crack up and yer Ma would speak to the Priest about having you tested.
But apparently it's a real thing and everything.
This was made clear to me when I asked the leader of the table of 40 what had such a large and varied group of people dining in Belfast on a Wednesday night...council funded campaigns aside. He explained, in detail too, the works and loves of a fish expert. It was all very Steve Zissou.
"Ha, very good sir...fish experts, pfft...no but really what has you out tonight?"
He blanked me. Mackerel all over my face. Fish expert, yes. Social skills, not so much. To be fair that was all of the table. There was 40 of them, representing over 20 countries which just goes to prove that there are assholes all over the world.
Asshole the first decided he was also an expert in setting tables and took it upon himself to redesign the carefully crafted and set with love table I had spent hours perfecting. The dick. The bucket of dicks, actually. He wanted to "create more space to breathe". Oh fucking really? You'll be breathing through a fucking tube if you move that table again fish boy. Every time he lifted a chair from another part of the restaurant I would put it back when he went to get another. To be fair the opening twenty minutes of this act were very reminiscent of Morecambe and Wise or one of those 1970s duos that people harp on about like they were the answer to something. In the end he got the point and stopped fucking with my feng shui. I do like it so when people bend to my will
Asshole the second was playing the hide n seek n ignore game. Either he wasn't at the table when his food or drinks were being delivered or he ignored you when you asked him something. Not cool dude, not cool. I am a contrary and stubborn fucker at best. As the once wise guru of Salford so aptly put it, The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get. Oh I got all up in his schnizzle, it smelled of fish. I stood right up close to him putting my DANGER area right in his face, yes yes he was short. When I spoke to him I got right down into his personal space. He was wearing me like a skin-tight sweater by the time he left. Ignore me? Pfft.
Asshole the third was from the former Soviet Republic of Whogivesafuckistan. A charmless and grey shit hole of country populated by people obsessed with egg white based desserts such as Pavlova or as it's called in Belfast, Pavalova. Dicks.
Repeated the man over and over in his booming Eastern European/Terminator voice for no other reason than he liked to say the word.
He was repeating it like he was chanting for the head of some despotic former leader or something. Maybe in Whogivesafuckistan it's called Chewy White Egg Cake or something. Anyhoo, he kept saying it and I kept telling him we didn't do it. As double acts go Fred and Rosemary West were more fun.
Asshole number four was all forty of them as they insisted on splitting the bill...forty ways.
I told them I would do it for them if they queued up. It's the only way to make sure you don't get ripped off innit. I've been burned many times before by the large table splitting the bill malarkey. The Brits, Irish and Eastern Europeans had no problem with this, in fact some of them seemed to think it was a very fine way to end the evening...with a lovely bit of queueing. Odd folks those Brits. Heh. The Italians, Spanish and what have you aren't good queuers to be fair. It was like watching a line up of over sized puppies - fine for about thirty seconds then they got restless and stated knocking things over and peeing on the floor. Or something.
What a night.
Still international assholism is a welcome change from local assholism.